Birmingham & Black Country

Bearded Broz volunteers to clear-up 'big skip' Birmingham

Uncollected bin bags
Image caption Workers have been on strike since 30 June and action is taking the form of three separate hours of stoppages a day.

Volunteers say they will again clear rubbish after they said Birmingham was becoming a "big skip."

The Bearded Broz, made up of volunteers from the Muslim community, said it would prioritise elderly and vulnerable people's refuse as the city's bin strike continues.

Volunteer Naveed Sadiq said: "Enough is enough, it's going from bad to worse."

On Monday, the Unite union said the strike over job cuts could last another 12 weeks after a vote by bin workers.

Union members voted 92.4% in favour of continuing industrial action at a second ballot.

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Why are Birmingham's bin workers on strike?

Meanwhile, the union is at the High Court asking for an interim injunction against the city council, after it issued redundancy notices to 113 middle-grade refuse workers.

Image caption The Bearded Broz previously tried to help clear the streets when the strike first started, leading to criticism from some quarters

The authority said all the workers were being offered other roles.

Unite said it had agreed a deal with council leader John Clancy, who resigned over the dispute, to keep jobs.

'Trust broken down'

But Tim Straker QC for the council, told the High Court hearing neither Mr Clancy or the cabinet had the authority to agree a collective "deal" without the involvement of council officers.

"The executive was not, and could not, constitute 'the council'. Ever," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The council is employing agency crews to clear the rubbish

Ian Ward, the Labour-run council's interim leader, said it was trying to resolve the dispute.

Robert Alden, Conservative opposition leader, called on him to meet affected staff.

"With all trust having broken down between the council and the unions, we should at least try talking directly to the council staff to resolve this crisis," he said.

He added the 14-day notice period required before a possible new strike provided a "temporary pause" to clean-up the city.

More than 13,000 people have signed a petition, started by Conservative councillor Alex Yip, calling for residents to be refunded a proportion of their council tax for missed bin collections.

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